A novel, silicone elastomer contact lens with a 2-state polarizing filter and central lenslet may allow patients to view distant objects and spectacle mounted micro displays, according to a study published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye. These components may be successfully embedded in the lens without causing adverse effects on the eye, the report shows.
Investigators fit 15 participants (mean age, 26.5 years; women, 11) with the novel, silicone elastomer contact lens to assess its safety on the eye for future technological applications. Participants underwent biomicroscopy, visual acuity with manifest refraction, and visual acuity with an over-refraction while wearing the study lens.
Overall, mean [SD] logMAR acuity was −0.13 [0.08] with best corrected refraction and −0.03 [0.06] with the study lenses and over-refraction. The mean spherical equivalent (SE) of the manifest refraction for both eyes was − 3.12 D and was −2.75 D over the plano study lenses.
All participants were able to a view a movie in 3 dimensions when viewing the spectacle mounted organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays while wearing the study lenses. Patient reported subjective assessments based on a scale from 1 to 10 (1, unable; 10, profound or stable), revealing mean [SD] scores of 7.67 [1.91] for ease of obtaining fusion, 8.47 [1.30] for ease of observing 3-dimensional vision, and 8.27 [1.49] for stability of the fused binocular display vision.
The novel, silicone elastomer contact lenses fit well, with little movement, and less than 10 degrees of rotation in 97% of eyes. The absence of moderate or severe corneal staining and edema following lens wear indicated their safety for wear and adequate oxygen transmissibility. Participants reported good or excellent comfort levels and ease of removal, according to the report.
“Embedding components inside a contact lens material with extremely high oxygen permeability allows for technological advances in optical systems without concerns of hypoxia to the eye,” the study authors explain. “One possible optical system for this use is a design with dual focal lengths that can provide wearers with normal distance vision, while also allowing for viewing of extreme near images, such as a spectacle mounted display system. A system such as this could allow wearers to view content hands-free while still having the ability to see their surroundings, which can be of great use for people with low vision, for clinical education, or even for education.”
Practical uses of the novel, silicone elastomer contact lens may also include gaming, sports applications, or navigation, the report suggests.
Study limitations include a small sample size of participants fit with the novel, silicone elastomer contact lens.
Disclosure: This research was supported by Innovega, Inc. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.
Fogt JS. Novel silicone elastomer contact lenses designed for simultaneous viewing of distance and near eye displays. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. Published online June 3, 2023. doi:10.1016/j.clae.2023.101870